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Mario de Miranda
Studio de Miranda Associati
Milano, Italy

The project in subject is a steel structure cable stayed bridge recently built in Curitiba, capital of
the Brazilian Paran State. The bridge has steel structure: the deck has multi-cellular box girder
structure, in steel-concrete composition. The tower, slanted and slender, is a steel orthotropic plate
box structure. The stay cables are placed in a central plane. The erection was developed by a lon-
gitudinal launching of deck, a longitudinal launching of the entire tower over the deck, and a lift-
ing of the tower by rotation, with a self -equilibrated operation, without the use of cranes.
The construction took place in eighteen months, between October 2012 and March 2014.
One of the challenges of the project has been the study of a structure and its construction in the
way to avoid the interruption of the big traffic underneath it, and with a very reduced jobsite area,
since it is in a high density urbanized area.

Il progetto presentato un Ponte Strallato con struttura metallica recentemente costruito a Curiti-
ba, capitale dello stato del Paran, in Brasile. Limpalcato del ponte una struttura metallica sca-
tolare multicellulare a sezione composta acciaio-calcestruzzo; lantenna, slanciata e snella, una

struttura scatolare ortotropica, e gli stralli sono distribuiti in un piano centrale. La messa in opera
dellantenna stata effettuata inizialmente con un varo longitudinale dellintero elemento metalli-
co sopra limpalcato, e con successivo sollevamento per rotazione, con una operazione autoequi-
librata, senza lutilizzo di gru. La costruzione durata diciotto mesi, da ottobre 2012 a Marzo
2014. Una delle sfide del progetto stata lo studio di una struttura e della sua costruzione in modo
da evitare linterruzione del forte traffico al di sotto di essa, con unarea di cantiere molto ridotta,
dato il contesto densamente urbanizzato in cui inserita.

Fig. 1. Curitiba Bridge seen from the avenue below

The bridge crosses one of the principal city Avenues, Avenida das Torres, which is the principal
connection between the International Airport and the city center. In the intervention area the ave-
nue overcrossed by the bridge has six lanes, two lateral streets, and a large central area with un-
derground pipes and high voltage towers.

One of the challenges of the project has been the study of a structure and its construction in the
way to avoid the traffic interruption of the big traffic underneath it, without intermediate supports,
and with a very reduced jobsite area, since it is in a high density urbanized area.

The viaduct has a total length of 225 m: a central span with a length of 129m, and two lateral
spans, one of 70 m on the north side, with the lateral stay anchorages, and the other on the south
side with a 26m span.
The deck is 23.60m wide, and it is suspended by one steel tower which is inclined towards North
and that is 75 m high.

The total weight of steel structure: 2040 ton, of which 540 t refer to the tower, and 1500 t refer to
the deck.


The deck steel structure is supported principally by the stays, and partially by the two side sup-
ports; it is made by
A central multicellular box girder steel structure, in which find place the stay anchorages.
Two side longitudinal beams with double T section
A top concrete slab on the whole bridge, and in the areas of maximum negative moment there is a
bottom concrete slab as well, so giving the cross section a double-composite action.

The structure has a high torsional stiffness, necessary to balance the torsion induced by mobile
loads, eccentric respect to the central stay plane; the cross section form, that gets thinner on the
extremities, follows the moment distribution, that is maximum at the center, where there is the
suspension system, and zero at the lateral sides. This way the view from below is of a dynamic
structure and a lean deck structure.

All joints of longitudinal structures are welded; joints of transverse internal structures are bolted.
Stay cables are all contained in a unique central plane and are parallel, so forming a harp con-
figuration, with only three main strong visual directions: the one of side cables, central cables and
Horizontally the deck is restrained at the lateral supports and on the intersection with the mast.
The transversal deck structures are formed by trussed diaphragms inside the box girder, that be-
comes a curtain of side cantilevers, connected at their ends by an edge girder. The side cantilevers
and the internal trussed diaphragms support the concrete slab.

Fig. 2. The steel deck mounted on rollers, during the longitudinal launching.

Fig. 3. First design of the steel deck cross section.


The mast, full steel construction, has a height of 75m and is inclined backwards; it has a base
dimensions of 2.5 x 9 m.
Has a box girder structure, trapezoidal cross sections, orthotropic plate type. Bridge Design,
Construction Method, and Construction engineering were developed by DMA De Miranda
The stays are 10 in the lateral span and 11 in the central span, made of parallel strands, galva-
nized, protected with individual HDPE cover and external HDPE pipe. They have an harp
configuration, so they have the same inclination in the central span as well as in the side span;
the anchorages inside the mast are inspectionable through a stair inside the structure, and the
ones in the deck through a walk path inside the box girder.
The stay cable of central span transfer their load to the mast, which equilibrium is guaranteed
by the pre-tensioning of the stay cables of the side span.
The horizontal thrust of the stay cables, from side and central span, are equilibrated by the
compression force in the deck.
The vertical components of the central stay cables correspond to the weight of the central
span, while the vertical components of the side stay cables are equilibrated by the weight on
side span plus a concrete counterweight formed inside the central box girder

Fig. 4. First design of the steel mast. Fig. 5. Bottom view of the deck and mast.


As integrant part of the executive design, 150 construction stages has been studied, designed by
Studio de Miranda Associati, and here we present a brief synthesis.

1. The bridge construction had to be executed in short time, with small space available being in
urban area, and leaving the traffic run around and below the erecting girders. The first step has
been the construction of a temporary embankment created on the north side span, so occupying
only a small space outside the bridge foot path, and three temporary steel supports in the space
free from the highway lanes.

2. Assembly of the first 42 meters of the deck by a gantry crane and, as soon as completed a
segment, the entire deck was pushed forward. The steel protection consists in a high durability
painting cycle given by the following items:
- Sandblasting Sa 2.5
- Zinc rich primer
- Epoxy based intermediate coating
- Fluororates finishing coating, 45m dry thickness
This cycle is supposed to give a repainting period of 40 years

3. The first part of the deck has been then launched longitudinally by means of long stroke jacks,
rollers, launching nose, and all typical launching equipment, specially optimized for this bridge.
This operation has been repeated for three times, each of the ones assembling the deck segments
connected to the last part of the just launched part, with advancements of steps of around 40m.

4. After completed the assembling and launching of the full deck, and after lowering it on its
supports, the construction of the concrete slab took place.

5. In the meantime, behind the abutment, the mast was erected horizontally, in good working
conditions, by using the cited gantry crane.

6. Then, four rollers used before to move the deck were dismounted and placed below the tower so
to give it a rolling support. The tower was so ready for its longitudinal launching.

7. The erection of a heavy inclined steel tower can usually be done in two ways:

a. By erecting in place, segment by segment, in vertical, using cranes and welding the segments on
site, at height, by means of traditional scaffolding.
b. Or by welding all the tower on ground in horizontal position and later lifting it by using one or
two large crane sections.
But in this case the first option would have been difficult, expensive and time-consuming; the
second one was not possible since there was no room for placing such large cranes.
An innovative solution was devised: to hoist the tower by rotation using a set of strand-jacks and
a special hoisting boom.
The tower was assembled, as said, in horizontal position behind the abutment, then launched
forward, passing above the already built deck, up to engage the bottom hinges installed in the
hoisting structure.

Then was fitted by auxiliary structures, i.e. the hoisting boom and a set of transverse bracings, and
it was lifted by a rotating movement. It was done by using a system of parallel, computer driven,
hydraulic jacks designed for the scope. The movement was fluid, without problem, and the opera-
tion was completed in around 6 hours.
With the tower in place, after the welding of its base, the stay cable installation and tension-
ing, by symmetric and tuned phase, took place.

This operation, even if acrobatic and suggestive, was performed in an unhoped-for smooth man-
ner to full satisfaction of everyone.

Fig. 6. Mast rotation phase: after a longitudinal launch over the deck, the mast was rotated through an auxil-
iary steel structure and cables and computes driven hydraulic jacks designed for the scope.

Fig. 7. Mast rotation phase drawing.


8. With the tower in place, after the welding of its base, the stay cable installation and tensioning, by
symmetric and tuned phase, took place. Then the removal of the temporary supports and the fin-
ishing operations: pavement, painting, removal of construction equipment. The steel structure as-
sembling and erection had a duration or nine months, the bridge was completed in 18 months and
was opened to traffic in April 2014.

Fig. 8. Curitiba Bridge finished, in March 2014.


The mast was designed with the aim of giving it a strong streamlining effect. This was achieved
by the synergy of some structural and geometrical measures. The harp configuration has the effect
of lowering the point of application of the resultant compression force in the mast, so reducing the
slenderness length.
The actual deflection length and structural slenderness is reduced by the centering effect of stay
cables, that maintain the direction of the applied forces on the mast; in fact the compression force
induced by cables is a non-conservative force.
The elongated cross section increases the effect of thinness of the section itself and, in turn in-
creases the streamlining effect
The tower height, taller than strictly necessary, increases the geometrical slenderness of the mast,
without really increasing its structural slenderness, defined by the height of application of the
compression force.


The Curitiba Viaduct was a task with a number of difficult conditions:

- Small jobsite place
- Construction with traffic flow
- Steelwork fabrication at 10.000 km from the jobsite
- Inclined and slim-lined tower to be erected without the use of cranes
- Dynamic structural form to be conjugated with an effective structural composition.

It was carried on within the tight contract time and within the foreseen cost, therefore it was a
successful work. This result was achieved thanks to the good organization of all involved parties
and by a good integration and coordination of design and construction work.


Project name:
Viaduto Estaiado Avenida Comendador Franco, Curitiba, Paran, Brazil

Structural Design, Construction Method, Construction Engineering:

Eng. Mario de Miranda // Studio de Miranda Associati, with the collaboration of
Eng.s Elena Gnecchi Ruscone, Luca Marinini, Luigi Origone, Alessandro Ponzone, Anna Riga,
Marta de Miranda
DMA Via Carlo Pisacane 26, Milano - Italy
Phone: +39 02.29412387
Fax: +39 02.29415210
E mail:
Web Site:

Local Technical Responsibles:

Eng. Minoru Onishi Protende, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Eng. Odemir Muller Curitiba, Brazil

General Contractor:
CR Almeida J Malucelli, with the management of Eng. Rafael Costa, Odilon Oliveira, and the
collaboration of Vinicius M. Hiplito and Ricardo Malucelli

Protende LTDA : Stay cables, bearings, lifting operations
MAEG Spa Italia : Steel structure fabrication and erection, with Luca Giacomini and Mirsad

Architectural Concept:
Arch. Claudio Magnabosco Instituto de Pesquisa e Planejamento Urbano de Curitiba

Project Owner
Muncipio de Curitiba Estado Paran - Brazil

Key data and Technical Informations:

Total length: 225 m (129 + 70 + 26)
Deck width: 23.60 m // Mast height: 75 m
Total weight of steel structure: 2040 ton, of which
Mast weight: 540 t // Deck weight: 1500 t

Date of start: October 2012

Date of completion: March 2014

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